Valentine’s Day is for lovers

In addition to being Valentine’s Day, February 14 is also the anniversary of the arrival of Saudi King Abdul Aziz b. Saud aboard the heavy cruiser USS Quincy in 1945, there to meet with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR was returning from the Yalta Conference–technically he was sailing home from Malta, having flown from there… Continue reading Valentine’s Day is for lovers

Conflict update: February 12 2017

We’re in the middle of a windstorm and I keep losing power, so I’m going to have to call it a night with a lot of stuff still left to cover. I’ll be back tomorrow though. The storm blew through and I decided to stay up late to cram everything in here. You’re welcome, or… Continue reading Conflict update: February 12 2017

Why quit now?

My fellow Americans, while we were all gasping and laughing at Donald Trump and the Republican Party today–and I’m not knocking anybody, I spent most of the day doing it too–here’s what our government was doing: More than 140 people were killed and more than 525 wounded when airstrikes hit a funeral ceremony in Yemen’s… Continue reading Why quit now?

Phantom shift

Virtually since the Iran nuclear talks began, it’s been an article of faith among right-wing deal opponents that the United States is about to shift its Middle Eastern loyalties away from the Saudis and toward the Iranians. This would be Bad, we’re told, because it would strengthen a malign regional actor whose muscular foreign interventionism… Continue reading Phantom shift

Holding our allies accountable

In the weeks since the terror attacks in Paris, a fair amount of digital ink has been spilled on the question of America’s Gulf allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, and the role those nations have played in fueling and/or combating (but mostly fueling) ISIS. This discussion hasn’t been limited to media thinkpieces, either; the Pentagon has… Continue reading Holding our allies accountable

An ancillary benefit

Josh Keating suggests another motivation behind today’s big Saudi royal news, one I didn’t consider in my rambling 1 AM diatribe on the subject: Still, this is change in a place where there is often none. In addition to injecting some young blood into the kingdom’s creaky gerontocracy, the moves were likely also made with… Continue reading An ancillary benefit